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  1. #1
    ♥ms.pacman♥ is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default San Diego in October?

    I just realized that my kiddos get 1 full week off of school in October this year (yay!) so now looking to use that as an opportunity to go somewhere nice for a short vacation. Not for the full week but for maybe 4 days (like Sat- Tues or something, over Indigenous Ppl Day holiday). DH suggested San Diego so we could visit the San Diego Zoo (both kiddos are really into animals, zoos and museums- we just spent the day at SF zoo and earlier this month they loved the DoSeum in San Antonio and Perot Museum in Dallas). We actually did visit the San Diego Zoo with the kiddos once but it was nearly a decade ago (the kids were 3 and 4 then) so they don't remember much. Also, we only did a one-day visit and we didn't do the part where you drive your car through and see animals (Safari Park)

    i have some questions though , would love any inputs on the following

    - best to fly into LAX and rent a car/make the drive down to SD? Having grown up and lived in various parts of CA, i know the 405 sucks traffic-wise, but i also think SD airport is not that big?
    - for SD zoo, was thinking of getting the 2-visit passes and do the zoo one day and Safari Park the next. though i see they are 35 mi apart, so is best to just get hotels near the main part of the zoo?
    - is Legoland for a day worth it, for 12/13 yos? Mine used to be into legos but not as much recently. Though they both love rollercoasters /rides so i wanted to consider the possibility for doing that after the zoo (though really it may be too much if we do zoo for 2 days).

    FWIW, we already have a trip to Disneyland the following month during thanksgiving, so visiting LA and surrounding areas isn't a must (though could be possible we do that on this SD trip and save November Disney trip for just doing Anaheim/DL/DCA w/o a car)

    thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default San Diego in October?

    I wouldnít voluntarily fly into LAX. The SD airport is so much easier and more convenient.
    Iím glad Safari Park is on your list. Iíd choose it over the zoo but sounds like you can fit both in. Itís a good zoo but still a traditional zoo whereas SP is way more unique. Iíd just do one hotel base vs moving.
    Legoland kind maxes out for most kids by 10yo so scrap it.
    The Birch Aquarium at Scripps should be on your list. Itís small but you can make a nice outing out of it. We ate just down the cliff from it at an Oceanside restaurant. We did the sea lions in La Jolla. You could add a hike at Torrey Pines too.
    Iíd look at adding the USSMidway to your list.


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  3. #3
    mom2binsd is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Agree, do not fly into lax, fly directly into San Diego. I'd pick one or the other, zoo wise ( Zoo at Balboa Park or Safari Park).Then do some aquatic activity like tide pooling after visiting Scripps Aquarium (look at when it's low tide and plan accordingly). USS Midway is pretty cool, as is Cabrillo Monument. Beaches are still nice in October too, when we lived there so many hot days in October.

    For your age kids, Legoland would be a huge and expensive waste of time. They might get a kick out of Belmont Park, am old school roller coaster at Pacific Beach.

    Rent some bikes and ride around Coronado Island and check out the historic Hotel Del Coronado.

    I'd see if you can get a room at the Homewood suites at Liberty Station, great cental location.

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  4. #4
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    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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  5. #5
    PunkyBoo is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Safari Park is one of our family favorites regardless of age. But, you don't drive your car through it. They have a tram that tours the outer portion of the path and the rest you walk through. Keep in mind that in October, Safari Park can still be very hot. We went for a day in October in 2019 and had a blast but it was over 90 degrees.
    I agree with PP that Legoland would not be worth it. Even the rides are geared towards smaller kids so there isn't much legroom for adults/older kids.

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  6. #6
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    essnce629 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Avoid LAX at all costs! We're in LA and hate flying out of there!

    I much prefer the Safari Park over the zoo.

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  7. #7
    ♥ms.pacman♥ is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Thanks all- this is super helpful. So we’ll definitely skip Legoland and plan for Safari Park.
    I just checked flights and we can get direct flight tickets for pretty good price (less than $300/pop) to San Diego airport so that definitely seems best way to go !

    I will definitely look into Scripps Aquarium - that sounds awesome.
    And we did see USS Midway on our previous trip and it was fun, though the kids likely don’t remember it..will definitely consider doing that too.

    thanks Again, this is helpful

  8. #8
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    AnnieW625 is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Default San Diego in October?

    I would fly into San Diego. You might pay slightly more but it will be worth it. I put a bunch of AirBNB and VRBO recs in the KrisMís post. If the links donít work let me know. The weather might be still kind of warm but it shouldnít be too bad, but it could still be hot at The Safari Park (if it is going to be 70+ in San Diego near the ocean it will be 90 inland for sure).


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    Last edited by AnnieW625; 07-17-2023 at 02:50 AM.
    Annie
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